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Local Blood Drive Aids Two Firefighters
blood drive
Normal 0 0 1 42 245 oakdale leader 2 1 300 11.1282 0 0 0 Lathrop firefighter Tim Kovacs was one of the many to donate blood for the Delta Blood Bank on Monday, Jan. 18 at the Oakdale Rural Fire Station. The blood drive was hosted by the station in support of recently injured Modesto firefighters Jim Adams and J.D. Clevenger. - photo by Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Rain, wind and less than desirable road conditions were not enough to keep people away from, of all things, donating blood.

On Monday, Jan. 18 Delta Blood Bank set up shop at the Oakdale Rural Fire Station for one of its many blood drives. This one, however, struck a chord with many, as the blood donated was in support of two Modesto firefighters who were injured in early January while tending to a structure fire.

Firefighter Jim Adams remains in the hospital where he is receiving treatment for third degree burns, firefighter J.D. Clevenger was released from Doctors Hospital earlier this month.

Parking was scarce and it was standing room only as individuals waited their turn to register and take a spot on one of the five donor tables set up at the station for the drive.

Lathrop firefighter Tim Kovacs used the opportunity to give blood for the first time.

“We’ve gotta help out our brotherhood,” Kovacs said of his decision. “That’s what it’s about.

“If it happened to me I’d want the same thing. I’d want the same type of support.”

Recurring donor and Oakdale resident, Mimi Desimoni, also felt a connection to the Modesto firefighters.

“I worked in fire service for 16 years,” she said. “When something like this happens you want to do something to help.”

Maxine Pickford, Donor Operations Coordinator for Delta Blood Bank, was more than pleased with the turnout.

According to Pickford, during the four-and-a-half-hour block of time they were open at Oakdale Rural, 65 persons were registered and 62 good units of blood were collected. Replacement blood credit for each registrant will be applied to firefighter Adams, which will help offset the cost of his blood transfusions.

“It was a really good turnout,” Pickford said. “People may still donate on his behalf at other sites.”

Pickford added that persons interested in donating blood for the benefit of Adams may do so by e-mailing her at In return she will e-mail the registration card, as well as locations and times of future blood drives.